While the sputtering economy has caused an alarming number of Americans to drop their health coverage, a new Gallup poll found one bright spot: the number of adults ages 18 to 25 without health insurance dropped from 28 percent last fall to 24.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, roughly equivalent to 1 million young adults.
One popular and relatively low-cost feature of the Affordable Care Act allows adult children to remain on their parent's health insurance until they turn 26, even if they're married, not living at home and not financially dependent on Mom and Dad. Prior to health care reform, many employer-based health insurance plans would lop off the kids at age 19, although some made exceptions for full-time college students.
The extended coverage became effective for health plans beginning on or after Sept. 23, 2010. Many employer-based plans began implementing it on Jan. 1.
And it could not have come at a better time for frustrated college graduates facing a discouraging job market. Even those who manage to land a fulltime position often find that their employer has dropped health insurance or that the cost is still beyond their means.
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